Amazing Craftiness

Some examples of well, amazing craftiness!

Made of paper and embellishments.

I did not make this, it was made by one of the annual Artisan Award winners. They submit a variety of items they have crafted – this was just amazing! An example of what is possible with time, patience and a steady hand. I’m still not sure how it was shipped to Riverton. Maybe it was driven there.

Travel tales and photos

I’ll start with food.

I saw this item featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – it’s a fav of the Neeleys’. Kuong Amun (this quote ganked from chowhound.chow.com – describes them perfectly “Kuong Amun (pronounced “queenamoon” but commonly known as crack in these parts”) – from Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City.

Well, I was there this week and took a cab at 8AM (asked the driver to wait and return me to the hotel) to retrieve said yumminess. The basic food groups covered in one yummy pastry – layers of dough, sugar, butter and fleur de sel. As my gal pals can attest they were amazing.

A couple of weeks again at Nola (one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants) in New Orleans:

Sangria

New Orleans Style Crab Cake with Crystal-Butter Sauce, Spicy Boiled Corn Relish, Chive-Garlic Crema and Creole Red Bliss Potato Chips

Duck Confit and Fried Egg Pizza with Parmesan Cheese, Truffle Oil and Baby Arugula

Cinnamon Pain Perdu with Sautéed Bananas, Drunken Monkey Ice Cream and Brown Sugar Bacon

Yup, I have a passion (some may say obsession) for food!

A few days later

The sights and sounds of New Orleans are still with me.

The laughing of the children – they go so serious when it came time to perform their play. They did an amazing job – even with the four Moses and two Pharaohs – it all worked out. The “Red Sea” sis a great job blocking the way and the Israelites were very whiny. The music was awesome – and some of those songs will not leave my head (that is not a very fun part).

We saw the house where the kids worked all week. Three weeks ago it was a house complete with drywall and ceilings. Now it is a shell. It is down to the studs. The woman who lived there with her two children, was building the house when Katrina hit, so once the water receded and she got some money – she finished the house. She and her kids moved in and lived there until last Fall (about a year) when the house made her son very sick – he was in the hospital and almost died. The contractor had used the “Chinese drywall” that has been in the new lately. So, the house needed to be stripped. That’s what our kids were doing – piece by piece. Removing the drywall, nails and screws and the insulation from the entire house and garage. Our kids are amazing!

We had another group go to Trinity Church where they run a day-camp and they helped with tutoring. They had a great time helping the kids put together projects for the upcoming weekend show – where they display what they’ve been working on.

We ate well at Annunciation Mission. The housing was clean-ish (although I did see a couple of bugs that we so big we coulda put saddles on them!). We ate snoballs, had a lot of shrimp and seafood. On Sunday, the adults went to lunch at Nola. I was going there with or without folks – because I cannot go to Emeril’s town and not eat at one of his restaurants. I was not disappointed. The service was not quite up to what I’d experienced at Tchoup Chop but the food certainly was! OMG, it was yummy!

It is very difficult getting back to work. My brain is elsewhere. Hard to concentrate. I feel like I’ve forgotten more than I knew before… Oh well, this break is over. I’m sure there will be more processing of the events and impacts of the past week – and some photos too!

Mission Trip

New Orleans. Five years later. They still need help. They still need  people to come. There’s work to be done. All y’alls should come.

We’re working in a few places. A and I are working on creating an inventory of all of their vestments. We’ve come across a few that we were not able to identify so we’ve sent word home to some experts. We’ll see what they come up with…

The folks from Texas arrived today – they are nice and their presence has tripled the number of  adults working with the kids so things were a little more controlled (a little more).

The third group is working on tearing a house apart, one piece at a time. The lady had her house rebuilt after the hurricane but they used the contaminated dry wall from China – so each piece is being taken out, photographed and cataloged for the class action suit. So, later, the house will be rebuilt – again.

We drove around the Lower Ninth Ward and saw some of the houses that Brad Pitt built – they are cool houses, many have solar panels. They are an interesting design with lots of angles. They are one block from the levee. Made me think that there was some “thumbing of noses” at the levee that failed. There were so many things that went wrong when that levee failed. The system failed also. As the kids say today “Oh, FAIL!”

Tomorrow, we try to finish up on the inventory. The play for Sunday will finish up and there will be a dress rehearsal. On Saturday, there are a couple of things to be done and we shall hopefully finish up the work of the Mission. On Sunday we’ll go to church, perform the play, go to brunch at Nola’s, walk  around the French Quarter a bit – then a pool party. Busy next couple three days. Next stop, Rock and Bowl.

Some things

1. I really hate when my bank accounts have not been balanced. I use Quicken so there really is no excuse but today I balanced April and May. Really!?!? Geez.

2. I realized I’m taking a “Mondo Beyondo” step – something on my list, which I reviewed today for the first time in a while, is “spend some time learning more re photography and digital stuff.” Now, I’m really not sure what I mean by digital stuff – I was just trying to write this list and finish the assignment. I probably mean digital correction of images, ya, that’s it! So, today I realized that over the weekend I signed up for a photography workshop that is coming to DC in the Fall. It is a workshop for women and it’s called MeRa’s Confidence Workshop. I’ve been reading her blog and like what she has to say so I signed up – gulp! The focus is more on photographing people – which is not something I do a lot so I’m eager to learn.

3. Since when did sushi become like Chinese food. I eat sushi for last week din and two hours after finishing – I was hungry! Late night cereal snack.

4. Gadgets – yup. Got me some new ones. Maybe the incentive of watching progress will get me moving more. I am a visual person, so here’s hoping. This is the iPod+Nike. The sensor goes in a little pocket on my sneaker and it talks to the iPod and tells it stuff about my workout. I’ll be working on the “walking” program first. Running? Not sure we’ll ever get there. Look at how tiny this thing is!

That’s my sneaker (duh), a marker and a quarter. This thing is tiny!

5. Again thinking about a 365 project. I’m inspired by some folks – a simple look into their life –  thanks Jinny. So maybe this photo is 1/365… I know I’ve tried this before but “life is about falling down seven times and getting up eight times!” Not sure who said that, but it wasn’t me…